An explosion during Kabul’s busy rush hour on Sunday targeted the office of President Ashraf Ghani’s running mate on the first day of campaigning for September’s elections.

The office of Amrullah Saleh’s Green Trend Movement was hit with what a party member said was a “complex, ongoing attack” that began with the detonation of a car bomb at about 4.40pm local time. At least two gunmen then entered the building, triggering an hours-long battle with security forces,

Another loud blast was heard just before 10pm. A Green Trend member said it came from inside the building where clearance operations were under way. All the attackers were reported killed shortly afterwards.

A party official told The National that Mr Saleh was safe after the attack. His Green Trend party shared an image on Twitter of the party leader sitting with security and survivors showing him with a light injury to the arm.

Amrullah Saleh, Mr Ghani’s running mate in the upcoming elections, survived a complex attack on his office in Kabul city, a member of his party, the Green Trend Movement confirmed to The National. However, several others remain under siege by unknown armed insurgents, who are engaged in a complex attack with the Afghan security forces. Ministry of Interiors spokesperson shared that at least 40 people have been evacuated so far.

Eyewitnesses said the building was busy on Sunday given that it was the first day of campaigning for September’s election. One witness said they saw many people wounded, including children. Many were also cut by flying glass from surrounding buildings when the bomb went off.

Read full story on The National UAE